"You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming." Pablo Neruda
MAGDI MASAARA (BILINGUAL)
ŋûra darmo lesaye
kaa mbeŋa nûkô kosiken ndâyŋeri mani
mundilo âmbimrn telagû ganê mînim de mârimbo mindeti.
kaa mbeŋa nûkô kosiken ndayŋêri mani darnndoka âmbûrse tindagû ganê mînimde malenti miree.
Janjaweedta darko kûman ila, kaa masaraa darko tîŋû mela,
kadûr meneŋkoy ndayo dee minde ̂ganê mînîŋam lânô mindeti,
berek mînî elo mâminti meree darnndoka mînim malenti mere.
̂Kaa wayawe gim dar lee mîŋa
kemin̰wo kûmôn elagu dar lee mîŋa
dar mînê tilo loro tinde kûrnaŋiken mârûmaka mandalni
mârû koo mandalni
mârîlo arko yande ŋga korom kêbin nditiyek lalaroo jeye
Hope of going back home
If you remember what happened
Let’s go back
God created us to live free, in our homeland
If you remember what happened to us wake up
Darnndoka awaits our return
Janjaweed burned our land, we ran away,
We hope to go back home
No matter how long it takes
We will raise the flag of freedom
by returning in our home
We left home
When we left, children were burning
Our home is crying
Freedom is like a locust that someone will catch
And give it to you
A good day to be alive
A good day to be alive
A good day to be a man and an island
Feeling the coming of danger
On every bridge
Together we built
Together we crossed
Together we wired and fired.
Thousands of miles apart
Cellular technology as a cure to the infectious loneliness
We are the men, we are the islands and gods
A modern Face of Buddha
A thousand ears to hear the cry of the suffering
A thousand hands to cover our faces in shame
And only tow eyes
Too wide open to dream
A face reflected in the water.
A good day to be alive in the 21st century
Inside a Salvador Dali painting
Deformed, enhanced, disordered, surreal
The reality is hard to admit
The reality is the millions laying in bed
Turning on the volume
Listening to the sky in a room
… Quando sei qui con me
Questa stanza non ha più pareti
Ma alberi, alberi infiniti...
Ramo, Beautiful days Sad times, 2020,digital postcard (External link)
HURA MIRSHEKARI/ MEHDI YARMOHAMMADI
A butterfly is dancing.
A tiny butterfly
Its wings as wide as a village in the Eastern South of Iran.
The village where every single day, the red-eyed storm loses its temper, in the narrow paths between the shrubs.
A tiny butterfly is dancing.
How does time pass for a mother whose child's throat scratches with an incessant cry?
As we continue to watch,
Suddenly a woman in the middle of the room screams:
The space between birth and death is short.
Half the crowd stands up in awe and half rises to criticise.
The tragedy of war and peace is being screened.
In the midst of the technological era,
A butterfly is dancing
A tiny butterfly
Its wings as wide as the garden.
So that the harmony of life continues through the branches of trees.
The sun spreads its love and the flowers kiss repeatedly and deeply.
However, in the limits of the mind of the ruler.
The arms of the flower should be cut and the wings of the butterfly must burn.
The woman repeats,
Je rêve, je rêve, je rêve d’un monde meilleur
Oú l’homme a une vie de coeur
Avant qu’il meurt
Qu’il apprenne de ses erreurs:
Que le macon
Celui qui construit des maisons
Puisse mieux gagner
Que celui qui joue au ballon
Que la terre se réveille
Que les abeilles reviennent
Que la nature devienne plus importante
Que nos paies
Mais la réalité, la réalité
On pense qu’a l’oseille
On se sent dur et fort
Mais on a tort
Ne préviens pas
Entre quatre planches
I dream, how I dream
Of a better world
Where we would
Have an inner life
Before we die
Where we would learn from our mistakes
Where the bricklayer, the house builder
More money than a soccer player
Where Earth is full, awake and alive
Where the bees are not threatened
Where nature would matter
More than our wages
But the truth is
That we all think
About destroying and constructing
It makes us feel tough and strong
But we are so wrong
Comes without a warning
And locks you down forever
Translated by Ramo (Omar Thek-Zeroual)
Babi Badalov was born in Lerik, Azerbaijan. He was one of the prominent members of the Saint Petersburg art scene in the 1990s, but was obliged to leave the city and the country. He currently lives and works in Paris, producing prolifically and exhibiting extensively. He often describes his work as “art poetry” or “visual poetry”.
Gluklya was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia. She has exhibited worldwide. Her oeuvre speaks of indignation and hope. She makes us attentive to injustice and she proposes playful ways through which people can resist injustice. Her work points to hidden tactics that people might invent, with the help of the artist, to empower themselves and navigate through structures of repression.
Hura Mirshekari and Mehdi Yarmohammadi regularly work and exhibit together. They are also husband and wife. Hura was born in Zarand, Iran. She studied mathematics in Zabol, and painting at the University of Sistan and Baluchestan in Zahedan, where Mehdi was one of her teachers. They had to leave Iran and flee to Europe. They currently live in Paris.
Ramo was born in the south of Casablanca in Morocco and initially studied mathematics. Forced to leave his home for reasons of freedom of expression, he came to France, where he currently lives. His poems were published by New River Press in 2017. He performed in Presence of Mehryl Levisse at Musée des Arts Décoratifs and showed his work at the Musée national de l'histoire de l’immigration in Paris.
Tony was born in Paris into a family originally from the island of Réunion. He started to write texts stylistically close to the slam tradition in his early teens and continued to experiment with different styles later on. Among his inspirations are Kery James, Joe Dassin, and Jean Genet.
Magdi Masaara was born near El-Genena, in Western Sudan, and had to leave his home due to the Darfur conflict in 2003. A self-taught artist and song writer, Magdi Masaara travelled through Lybia and Italy before arriving in Calais. He writes in Masalit, which is considered a highly endangered language, since the number and present location of Masalit speakers today is highly uncertain. He currently lives and works in Paris.